Important notice of a data breach
We have reported a data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Please take the time to read the information below as it will help you to understand whether your data may be affected and what steps to take if it is.
The breach relates to data provided to us between September 2013 and December 2019 by UK Portfolio, England funding and Building Better Opportunities customers. Customers through our Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales funding programmes are not affected.
By customers we mean those who were in the process of applying for a grant as well as existing grant holders supplying information to us at that time.
The data includes contact details (name, address, email and land and mobile numbers), date of birth, bank details (name of bank account, sort code and account number) and the applicant organisation’s address and website. It does not include bank account PINs, passwords or bank card details as we do not collect them.
This is an ongoing investigation however, and other personal data may be affected – we will update our website if this is confirmed.
We are looking into the matter fully to understand what has happened, but we need to make any UK Portfolio, England funding or Building Better Opportunities customers who supplied this type of information to us during this date range aware that their data could be at risk.
If you believe you may be affected, we would urge you to consider updating the passwords on your accounts (ensuring you use strong, unique passwords), look out for phishing emails or fraudulent activity on your bank account and consider running a credit check against your name and address to enable you to spot any fraudulent applications being made in your name.
You can find out more about protecting yourself from fraud here: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/individual-protection. Your bank will also be able to provide you with protection advice.
If you have any concerns, please call our England Advice Team helpline (0345 4 10 20 30). We have also set up a dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are sorry for the worry and inconvenience this may cause and want to assure all our grant holders, past, present and future, that we take your personal data seriously. We will be working to ensure that our standards going forward are what you would expect.
We know that you will be keen to understand whether your personal information is involved or not. To help you, here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Please don’t forget however that our England Advice Team (0345 4 10 20 30) and a dedicated email address email@example.com are there to support you with any concerns relating to this matter:
I applied for funding through your Scottish funding programme during this timeframe – could I be affected?
No – the data breach does not involve anyone applying for or in receipt of a grant from our Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland funding programmes. The breach relates only to data provided to us by England, UK Portfolio and BBO customers between September 2013 and December 2019. Data supplied outside of that date range or by customers of different programmes is unaffected.
I applied for a grant from your England funding programme last week – is my data at risk?
No – the breach relates only to data provided to us by England, UK Portfolio and BBO customers between September 2013 and December 2019. Data supplied outside of that date range or by customers of different programmes is unaffected.
If somebody calls me about this incident what should I do?
We have no plans currently to get in touch directly with individual customers – if you are contacted please be very careful not to reveal any of your personal information (and particularly not Passwords or bank account PINS to the caller) as it could be a fraudster. Please do follow the advice we’ve outlined above so that you can protect yourself from fraud.
I am concerned and I need to talk to somebody about this – who do I contact?
Please call our England Advice Team helpline (0345 4 10 20 30). We have also set up a dedicated email address (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) to support you with any concerns relating to this matter. You can also find out more about protecting yourself from fraud here: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/individual-protection and your bank will also be able to provide you with fraud protection advice.
If I apply to you now for funding, will my data be safe?
This is the first time we have reported a data breach to the ICO. We have a long track record of serving communities and our grant holders efficiently and securely – we have made a mistake here, and we want to reassure grant holders that we are taking this incident seriously and are committed to learning and improving from it.
- Date published